Optimize Your Practice by Focusing on These Critical metrics.
You may think your practice is doing well — but how do you really know if it is? There are many clues you can use to know how you are doing, but benchmarking your practice against nationwide statistics can provide a true glimpse into good eye care practices and smart practices for eye care. While you could generate an accounts receivable (A/R) report monthly to track your collections, there is a wide range of other reports you could run with But there are scores of other reports with metrics that can show how your practice fares when it comes to efficiency, collections, and even scheduling.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measures that you can use to gauge performance of almost anything that can be measured. In the case of eye care practice vision KPIs, these measures show a number of important factors that gauge how well your customers like your service and if word is getting out about you.
Here are eye care best practices for KPIs in more detail.
- Total Number of Patient Visits
You can track the total number of patient visits to get a baseline idea of how many patients are coming through your doors on average. There are many ways to calculate this, including per day, per doctor, or per month. With this basic number in hand, you can drill deeper to calculate things like how many visits each physician performs each year, which physicians see the most patients, and more.Experts say this eye care practice recommendation should be tracked every month, although it is not necessary to share granular data with staff and physicians.
- Number of New Patients
While total patients is important knowing about new patient visits is another good eye care practice. If, for example, 40 percent of your visits last year were new patients and that fell to 20 percent this year, focusing on getting new patients should become a priority.Experts say that this is one of the eye care best eye care practice recommendations to focus on because it ensures that there is steady business. A normal eye care practice finds that around 11 percent of patients leave annually business, so if your new patient visit numbers are not growing by at least that amount each year, your business is probably shrinking.
Patients who make an appointment and fail to show up can cause problems for your business. While stopping no-shows requires its own tactics, you can start to get a hand on the situation by tracking this KPI. Further, know this can help you allow your scheduling staff to know when it could be OK to book multiple appointments and plan for potential no-shows.For example, some no-shows may turn out to be seasonal, such as during holidays or over summer breaks when families travel. Knowing this can help signal when double booking is acceptable in order to dampen the effects of no-shows.Are your appointment confirmation calls going straight to voicemail? You may be able to reduce the no-show rate by sending text message reminders on top of reminder calls, and if no-shows are a real problem, it may be suitable to consider no-show fees — just make sure to include in your financial policy and show it to patients.
- Referrals Tracking
Where are your referrals coming from? Friends and family? Emergency doctors? Diabetes doctors? Social media ads? Billboards? Knowing this can show what types of patients may need eye care in the future. It can also tell you if there is a bigger problem you need to investigate. If your referral numbers are shrinking, you may need to take other actions such as focusing on your referral relationships.
- Drugs Dispensed History
Evaluating how many drugs your practice has on hand is another critical metric to be aware of, and tracking dispensing history can provide valuable information Many doctors will perform daily counts to evaluate what sort of medications are on available and how they are being used. Knowing this is key since once drugs are purchased, ophthalmologists are totally on the hook for reimbursement. To get a handle on this, it is wise to create reports that ensure that all the drugs have been billed correctly. You can use this KPI to make sure that you get the correct reimbursement from payers, that your staff is aware of how to document drug wastage, and how to use modifier JW so you can properly report drug wastage on claims.Note: practices should not tolerate injections that get administered but not reported, and this matters for inexpensive medications as well as more expensive ones. If drugs are injected but not billed, it is critical to educate your team members about the importance of billing all services. You can easily discover these discrepancies by comparing the drugs dispensed history with the inventory you have on hand.
Tip: Did you receive a shipment that included a damaged needle? Make sure to get you money back since that medication is not usable.
- Insurance Analysis
Are insurers treating you honestly and fairly? It is certainly easier to assume that insurers are paying you what they should, but it is important to understand that, just like everyone else, insurers can make mistakes, and that it is your responsibility to find those mistakes and bring them to the insurers’ attention.Measuring this KPI can both show that your practice is getting paid what it is owed and show how those trends change over time.
- Productivity Report by Payer and by Procedure
Where is your practice’s income is coming from? Productivity reports can help you understand this. To create one, analyze productivity by payer. This helps you understand which payers are responsible for what amount of income. You can then create a procedure report. This report will tell you the services that make up the highest percentage of your practice’s income. Do the reports, for example, show that most of your income is coming from one procedure that just a handful of your staff actually perform? Knowing that is good if you think that anything, such as staff vacancies, could change. If so, it could wind up negatively impacting a huge portion of your income.
- Know when else this is important?
When it is time to renew your payer contracts. Do you have a payer who is a pain in the side to deal with but turns out to just make up a small amount of your income? If so, you may be able to drop then with ease and look for that income somewhere else.
- A/R Aging Reports
How long does it really take you to collect outstanding balances? Are slow collections due to any of your internal processes? By creating a KPI report using at least three months’ worth of data, you can factor out influences like what happens if a doctor is out sick or on vacation.Now, what happens if your report shows that many of your charges take more than 90 days to get paid? You may consider making changes to your payment practice because 90 days is the theoretical cutoff for filing claims —claims over 90 days don’t get paid if they haven’t already been filed.
Do you have too many patients with past-due amounts? If so, it may be time to look at if you want to change your payment collection procedure. Remember, it is best practice for eye care practices to collect patient payments before the patient walks out the door because once they are gone, data show that your chances of getting paid drops like a rock. Remember that at the checkout desk staff should ask “how” patients want to pay, not “if.”
Collecting KPIs may not always be easy, but doing so is a smart practice for eye care professionals. With the right eye care practice management software tools on your side, getting these KPIs can be relatively easy.